Norges Bank

Working Paper

Voting when the stakes are high

Author:
Jørgen Juel Andersen, Jon H. Fiva and Gisle James Natvik
Series:
Working Paper
Number:
15/2010

Abstract:

Rational choice theories of electoral participation stress that an individual's decision to vote depends on her expected net benefit from doing so. If this instrumental motive is relevant, then turnout should be higher in elections where more is at stake. We test this prediction, by studying how turnout is affected by exogenous variation in governments' financial exibility to provide pork for their voters. By utilizing simultaneous elections for different offices, we identify a positive effect of election stakes on turnout.

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ISSN 1502-8190 (online)

Published 30 August 2010 10:28
Published 30 August 2010 10:28